Singapore Premier League • August 28, 2014

Ljubojevic Hits Brace As Balestier Down Cheetahs


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Balestier Khalsa successfully executed a comeback in their Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League game against Hougang United at Toa Payoh Stadium as they scored four goals in the second-half to brush aside the Cheetahs in an impressive 4-1 win.

Hougang went in front through Diego Gama just before half-time but nothing could prevent the Tigers from relishing a scoring spree, with Goran Ljubojevic grabbing a brace while Park Kang Jin and Poh Yi Feng also got their names on the scoresheet.

Ten minutes into the game, Zulkiffli Hassim pounced on a loose ball but his effort was well parried away by Fadhil Salim.

The rest of the half was stuck in midfield as both sides were relying on set-pieces to create chances, and the respective goalkeepers were up to the task in punching corners away.

Just before the interval, Hougang’s sudden hunger to break the deadlock started to flourish.

Lau Meng Meng forced Zaiful Nizam into a low save before the Cheetahs opened the accounts on the brink of the first half.

They were awarded penalty after a defender handled the ball, and Gama stepped up to send Zaiful the wrong way and give his side the lead.

The Tigers responded with a bang in the second half as they equalised in the 50th minute, through Park.

The South Korean clinically finished off a swift move, after Ruhaizad Ismail beat the offside trap to lay the ball across for him to tap it past a sea of defenders and Zaiful.

From then on, it was Balestier all the way as it seemed like they were on a mission to claim the winner as soon as possible.

Ljubojevic’s powerful header flew over the crossbar before his snapshot whizzed just inches wide.

They did grab the winner through their following opportunity in the 63rd minute.

Ljubojevic cleverly flicked the ball over a defender to allow Poh to be through on goal, and the 27-year-old lobbed his finish over the onrushing Fadhil.

Six minutes later, the Tigers extended their lead through Ljubojevic, whose header off Park’s cross reached the back of the net and disheartened the Hougang supporters.

It was practically game over for Hougang in the 79th minute as Ljubojevic bagged his brace and the fourth goal for the Tigers by coolly slotting the ball past Fadhil in a one-on-one situation.